German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned today against protectionism and isolationism at a time when the world faces global challenges such as climate change and the threat of terrorism.
"Those who think that the problems of this world can be solved with isolationism or protectionism are terribly wrong," she told the German parliament ahead of the July 7-8 Group of 20 summit.
She acknowledged that even within export powerhouse Germany, there are anti-globalisation voices and critics against free-trade agreements.
"But protectionism isn't the answer," she said, adding that at the G20 summit in the northern city of Hamburg, Germany's biggest port, she would be seeking a "clear signal for open markets and against sealing off".
Merkel's stance on trade sets her on a collision course with US President Donald Trump, who has championed an "America First" policy and whose administration refused to sign up to an anti-protectionist pledge at a G20 finance ministers' meeting in March.
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